Dis­ap­prov­ing of ‘ cougar’

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Send ques­tions to Amy Dickinson to askamy@ tri­bune. com or to Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

Dear Amy: I have a step­son who has been dat­ing and liv­ing with a “cougar” since he was 23 years old. He is now 33. She is 14 years his se­nior. He wants to have kids, but she has never had any and doesn’t plan to have any af­ter they get mar­ried.

She is a nice per­son, but I don’t know why he stays with her when he is a hand­some guy and a lot of girls think he looks like Bradley Cooper. He had a failed re­la­tion­ship with some­one his own age prior to meet­ing this cougar, and I won­der if he doesn’t want his feel­ings to be hurt by some­one run­ning out on him again.

I know her chances of get­ting a dif­fer­ent boyfriend at her stage of life would be diff icult. She is not in the de­cent shape that would at­tract a man ( due to her size). Let’s face it, Amy: Men are very vis­ual.

My wife agrees with me that she is a nice per­son but also very old for him, and we don’t know if we should say some­thing. She is al­most old enough to be his mother!

It seems like he keeps putting off get­ting mar­ried, even though they have been en­gaged for the last f ive years. Re­cently we at­tended a wed­ding, and the new inlaws made a com­ment dur­ing the wed­ding that their son’s bride was a “keeper.” Both my wife and I don’t feel the same about this 47- yearold cougar. Am I miss­ing some­thing?


Dear Con­fused: Yes, you are miss­ing some­thing. A sense of de­cency, for in­stance.

Your son has been with the same woman for 10 years. Her age when they got to­gether ( 37) does not put her into the “cougar” ter­ri­tory, which by your re­peated use and con­text seems to be the worst thing you can think of to say about a mid­dle- aged woman who has loved your step­son for a decade.

Given your at­ti­tude to­ward the “very nice” per­son with whom your son has cho­sen to spend his life, I am stunned that he still has a re­la­tion­ship with you. I sug­gest that you be much more re­spect­ful to­ward ( and care­ful about) your step­son’s part­ner.

Dear Amy: I met my part­ner online. We’ve been liv­ing to­gether for two years. When we be­came se­ri­ous, she re­moved her dat­ing pro­file, but lately I see her hid­ing her com­puter screen from me and typ­ing furtively. This raised my sus­pi­cions. I have dis­cov­ered that she has a new and ac­tive pro­file with the same well- known dat­ing site where we met.

This is a new pro­file and shows her as ac­tive within a day of my check­ing. I would like to know how to go about con­fronting her with­out caus­ing a huge blowup.


Dear Won­der­ing: You can hope for a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to this, but per­haps a big blowup is in­evitable. Don’t rule it out — or be afraid of it. Ob­vi­ously you have some­thing im­por­tant to dis­cuss, and this in­ci­dent will cause you both to face it.

Share your hon­est re­ac­tion with her and ask her to de­scribe what she was think­ing when she chose to start shop­ping her­self online.

Try to pre­pare your­self for de­nials and re­crim­i­na­tions — and also for bad news. Un­less you can come to a ra­tio­nal un­der­stand­ing, this should be a deal- breaker for you.

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